The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has clarified remarks credited to its Acting Chairman,Mr Ibrahim Magu, concerning the Ikoyi whistleblower on Thursday.
Spokesman of the commission, Mr Wilson Uwujaren, said in a statement onFriday that Magu never said the whistleblower had been paid his compensation as being insinuated in a section of the media.
The informant had provided intelligencethat led to the recovery of $43.5 million, £27,800 and N23.2 million stashed in an apartment on Osborne Towers in Ikoyi, Lagos on April 7.
By the Federal Government’s whistleblower policy that took effect in December, 2016 informants are entitled to between two and five per cent of the looted money they helped to recover.
Uwujaren had quoted the EFCC acting chairman as saying in Vienna, Austria, that the Ikoyi whistleblower was now a millionaire by “virtue of the percentage he is officially entitled to’’.
“We are currently working on the young man because this is just a man who hasnot seen one million Naira of his own before.
“So, he is under counseling on how to make good use of the money and also the security implication.
“We don’t want anything bad to happen to him after taking delivery of his entitlement. He is a national pride”,he reportedly told a United Nations anti-corruption conference.
Uwujaren further said;“What Magu said at the 7th Session of the Council of State Parties to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption in Vienna, Austria, was that citizens should be encouraged to embrace whistleblowing because of the incentives attached.“To illustrate this, he stated that the gentleman who provided the information that triggered the huge recovery at Osborne Towers in Ikoyi was already a millionaire based on the incentive in the whistle blower policy where information providers are entitledto between 2.5 and 5 per cent of the recovered sum.“Magu never said that the young man has been paid. The commission is not even directly responsible for the payment of rewards to whistleblowers.’’The EFCC spokesman said the exact amount recovered in the Osborne Towers operation was never a subject of controversy as the counting of the money was streamed live.
He said the counting was also witnessed by the whistleblower, security at the Towers and representative of the agency which claimed ownership of the money.
It was previously reported that the whistle-blower who alerted the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) about the massive stash of money in apartment in Ikoyi, Lagos,has denied been paid the 5% of the recovered sum.
Yakubu Galadima, a lawyer who said he was representing the unnamed whistle-blower, faulted the claims by the EFCC that his client had been paid the 5 % for providing the information that led to thediscovery of the money, The Punch reports.
The lawyer made the disclosure on Friday, November 10, when he spoke with journalists on the premises of the Lagos state High Court in Ikeja.
Galadima said the claims by the acting chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, that the whistleblower had been paid was untrue.